The Witness Stones Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to restore the history and honor the humanity of the enslaved individuals who helped build our communities, today announced a new affiliation with CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. A generous grant from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund will allow the school to use the Project’s curriculum and landscape markers to expand their teaching of the history of slavery in colonial Connecticut. The Witness Stones Project’s Local Corporate Partner in Hartford, Pro Bono Partnership, is also providing support for the Project.
Students will examine primary source documents, such property, church, and vital records; wills and probate inventories; and census data, in order to understand the reality of slavery and to restore the memory of those individuals who were enslaved. They will learn how to document and describe the dehumanization and paternalism of slavery; the economic and legal framework that supported slavery; and, the agency, resistance, and contributions of the enslaved to our local and national history. Finally, these students will be inviting their community to witness as they install memorial stones for individuals who were enslaved in their town.
The Witness Stones Project was founded in 2017 in Guilford, Connecticut. Since then, the Project has expanded to work with affiliated institutions in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
The CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts provides a rigorous college-preparatory academic education and pre-professional arts education in a an equitable, culturally competent environment.
The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund’s mission is to achieve equity in education by working with those affected and inspiring all to end racism and poverty.
Pro Bono Partnership, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, provides free business and transactional legal assistance to other nonprofits. The Partnership recruits and supports volunteer attorneys with a range of specializations to help nonprofits in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York achieve their goals, avoid risk, increase capacity, and better serve their constituencies.